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5 Things to Know About New Vikings WR Jacob Copeland

WR Jacob Copeland
WR Jacob Copeland

The Vikings signed rookie receiver Jacob Copeland on Monday, continuing a series of roster moves.

Copeland and Sunday signee N’Keal Harry joined the team after trying out at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Here are five things to know about Copeland.

1. Path to the Vikings

Copeland signed with the Vikings after being released by the Titans earlier this month. He had joined Tennessee as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Maryland.

In one season with the Terrapins, Copeland led the squad with an average of 14.5 yards per reception. He totaled 26 receptions for 376 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games.

Prior to transferring to Maryland, Copeland played at Florida from 2018-21. After appearing in three games in 2018, he was redshirted. Copeland boosted his production every year after, going from 273 yards and two touchdowns in 2019 to 435 and three in 2020. In 2021, he posted career bests of 41 receptions, 642 yards and four scores.

Copeland participated in the 2023 East-West Shrine Game.

View photos of Vikings WR Jacob Copeland who signed with the team on Aug. 7, 2023.

2. Yep, he was that commitment

If Copeland and Florida rang a bell, it might date all the way back to February 2018 for those who closely follow National Signing Day.

Copeland and his mother, Betty, inadvertently went viral for a signing moment broadcast live and placed on ESPN's YouTube account.

Sitting at a table with hats from Tennessee, Alabama and Florida, and with Betty wearing a Tennessee beanie and Alabama shirt, Copeland opted for the Florida hat. As he placed it on, Betty stepped away from the table.

She later gave him a big, loving hug and explained that her son had surprised her with his decision without telling her what it would be. She had grown up in Alabama and was initially hoping he'd select the Crimson Tide.

3. He's been through so much already

The Diamondback at the University of Maryland wrote an in-depth feature on Copeland last September. Varun Shankar detailed the tragic losses and hardships Copeland has overcome.

His father died when Copeland was just 13, and Copeland's best friend passed away in 2019 after a seizure. Copeland has commemorated both individuals with tattoos of their faces on his stomach.

Shankar wrote when Copeland was just 8 years old, he was in his home playing a video game when six bullets flew through the residence. Copeland and his half-brother discovered another half-brother had been shot in the front yard. Despite being struck three times, the half-brother survived.

Copeland credits his former youth coach Trampas Miller and Miller's family for significant help. The Copeland and Miller families "adopted" each other.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 7, 2024.

4. Part of Escambia's tradition of athletes

Copeland starred at Escambia High School, which has produced multiple professional athletes, including Hall of Fame RB Emmitt Smith and former first-round pick Trent Richardson.

At Escambia, Copeland totaled 2,261 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns on 104 receptions. He added 685 rushing yards and 10 scores on 99 carries.


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5. At the Combine

Copeland received an invitation to the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

He ran the 40-yard dash in a time of 4.42 seconds, which tied first-round pick Zay Flowers for the ninth-fastest time among receivers this year.